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Barberman
07-28-2008, 14:06
I did 8 dives in two days over the weekend of July 19-20. When I woke up on the following Tuesday morning, July 22, I had some pain in my left ear. I didn't think much of it then, but as the day went on it continued to get worse and my right ear started to hurt. The next day both were still getting worse so I went to the doctor and was told I had swimmers ear. He gave me a prescription and sent me on my way. By Friday the ears had gotten quite a bit worse so I went back to the doctor. I was told it was the worst case of swimmers ear she had ever seen. The problem was my ears were so swolen the ear drops couldn't get to where they needed to go to help. She placed some cotton tube things in my ears that would allow the drops to get through and gave me a different perscription. My ears are now improving but still not back to normal.

Now the important question, I have a small dive trip planned in two weeks and was wondering as long as my ears feel ok, is it safe to dive or should I not dive on this trip????

Thanks, sorry for the long post.

freeski4ever
07-28-2008, 14:30
Your best bet is to ask the doctor. It sounds like you have an extraordinary case, and since she gave you a special treatment, you really want to make sure you don't mess them up by diving too soon.

crgjpg
07-28-2008, 15:12
I had the same problem once. I even had to have the ear wick placed inside my ear. After the first day, I felt much better. The doctor probably gave you and antibiotic which you should take until it runs out which is probably 10 days. I would check with the doctor before I went diving.

ReefHound
07-28-2008, 16:01
You should follow your doctor's advice, not ours. Sometimes people are tempted not to ask their doctor because they don't want to hear what they don't want to hear. Infections can linger well after the pain has subsided so going by how you feel may not be the best approach.

In the future, many divers like to apply alcohol ear drops like Swim Ear after every dive.

Barberman
07-28-2008, 16:04
You are right Reefhound, I don't want to hear the doctor tell me that I can't dive!!!! I usually do use swim ear regularly after diving, but I couldn't find any of it this weekend while we were diving. Lesson learned though, I'm adding swim ear to my checklist for dive trips.

ReefHound
07-28-2008, 16:11
Some people prefer to make their own using half vinegar and half rubbing alcohol.

digitalman
07-28-2008, 16:24
Some people prefer to make their own using half vinegar and half rubbing alcohol.

You've got my attention. Is that a specific blend or just an appriximation?

ReefHound
07-28-2008, 16:34
Some people just use isopropyl "rubbing" alcohol but many prefer a 50-50 mix of alcohol and white vinegar. It's not that critical. I don't measure precisely but lean towards more alcohol and less vinegar. My mix is probably more like 70-30 in actuality. Much cheaper than the Swim Ear products.

Barberman
07-28-2008, 16:35
I was actually reading somewhere, can't remember where, that it is the vinegar that does the most good out of that type of mixture.

Barberman
07-28-2008, 16:42
This is part of the article that I referenced above. The link to full article is at the bottom. It isn't that vinegar is better it is that to much alcohol isn't good.

There are a number of products available at your local pharmacy (e.g., Aqua Swim-EAR, Auro-Dri, Mack's Dry-N-Clear, to name a few). However, the majority of these are mostly alcohol, a chemical that dissolves earwax and that can be excessively drying: This can leave the ear canal prone to infection. For the same reason, use products containing hydrogen peroxide with some restraint.
A freshly brewed concoction of one-third distilled water, one-third white vinegar and one-third isopropyl alcohol is often a much more effective mixture. It's also inexpensive, so keep it fresh and potent by making a new batch at least monthly. To use, fill a medicine dropper with the solution, tilt the head to one side, add two to three drops to each ear (taking care not to let the dropper touch the ear or anything else). Then gently massage the ear in a circular motion to ensure penetration, and allow the medication to sit for a full five minutes before lifting the head upright.

Doc Vikingo's Preventing Swimmer's Ear (http://www.awoosh.com/DocVikingo/Preventing_Swimmers_Ear.htm)

mchain
07-28-2008, 17:31
I haven't yet had any problems with infections or anything but maybe I should start using something like this as a preventative measure. Sounds pretty painful.

Barberman
07-28-2008, 17:51
Yes it was painful and I lost almost all hearing from Wednesday through Sunday. Can't say all the hearing loss was a 100% negative though. Couldn't hear the wife nagging! :-)

navyhmc
07-28-2008, 18:24
Yes it was painful and I lost almost all hearing from Wednesday through Sunday. Can't say all the hearing loss was a 100% negative though. Couldn't hear the wife nagging! :-)

Ohhhhh Man!!! All I can say is duck and cover!!!:smiley36: :smiley36: :smilie39:

comet24
07-28-2008, 20:17
I would call DAN. Many doctors do not know enough about diving. Not there fault it really is a specialty. DAN may be able to answer your question over the phone and if not they can point you to a doctor in your area that can help.

BoomerNJ
07-29-2008, 06:25
Good info in this post. I usually keep a bottle of the SwimEar stuff in my save-a-dive kit & use it once at the end of the day to prevent infections. Now I'll be making the Vinegar concoction from now on. It sounds safer & easier on the ears than the other stuff...

Thanks Barberman for the thread!

BuzzGA
07-29-2008, 23:15
I would make sure to give DAN a call, that is what they are there for. My wife recently had some ear problems after a weekend of diving and went to see the Dr, but since the doc isn't a diver my wife took DAN's number with her and the doc called DAN while my wife was there just to check in...the diagnosis was the right one (no big deal just some water way back in her ear causing some dizziness) and my wife is back diving and happy with her doc because she took the time to double check with DAN

TommyB
07-30-2008, 00:29
I was actually reading somewhere, can't remember where, that it is the vinegar that does the most good out of that type of mixture.
DAN as a lot of lit on this topic

https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/medical/articles/article.asp?articleid=48


The five-minute duration must be timed with a watch. If the solution does not remain in the ear a full five minutes, the effectiveness of the procedure is greatly reduced.
- From the U.S. Navy Diving Manual


https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/medical/articles/article.asp?articleid=49

https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/medical/articles/article.asp?articleid=45

Barberman
07-30-2008, 17:38
Thanks ntburchf for the DAN links. There is some good info there!

Trey9123
07-30-2008, 21:56
I get swimmers ear almost every time I go diving. When they get so bad they swell shut, I always have to take an oral antibiotic until the swelling goes down, and then use drops. I have gotten so that I put ear drops in after every dive I go on. I have a vet friend give me ones he uses to treat dogs. They are exactly the same medicine as the human ones in a bottle which is 50 times bigger for about 1 50th the price.